Linda K.

Slow and steady wins the race

“I got this!”

Those were the words that Linda K., of Sun City West, said to her doctor when he shared concerns that her A1c levels (a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and 2 diabetes and to monitor how well you’re managing your diabetes) were going up instead of down.

“My physician was concerned that I was not being consistent with maintaining a lower number, so rather than changing my medication, I told him “I got this” Linda explained. “I was determined to find a way to improve my health,”

And Linda did find a way one day when going through her mail. She learned about the Diabetes Self-Management Education Series (DSME) offered by Sun Health Wellness after reading LiveWell Magazine. And, she decided it was the right time to join.

It’s all in the family

Linda is certainly familiar with diabetes, calling it a silent disease, since you cannot typically see what’s happening with a person’s body on the inside.

“My father had diabetes and was not diagnosed for several years and ended up passing away at 61.  My sister and niece are both diabetic and on insulin, so yes, it definitely runs in the family,” Linda shared. “I have two sons who are not diabetic at this time and I caution them to stay on track with their activities and weight.”

Why Linda recommends Sun Health’s DSME Program

Linda found the topics covered in DSME– monitoring, nutrition, exercise, medication and coping skills — were most helpful as she made significant changes to her lifestyle, including food and drink when socializing with friends.

“Damian, Sun Health’s registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator who lead the series, was professional and knowledgeable and had an easy manner in conveying the material. He gave lots of time for answers to questions. I particularly appreciated the one on one consultation I received to review my goals and make suggestions.”

Linda says DSME for her is like training for a marathon and not a quick race. As she continues making lifestyle changes to improve her A1c levels, she says the extra support and help available from Sun Health Wellness when needed have been the keys to her success.

“I continue to try and stay on my walking program, although challenging lately with moving back to Washington State,” says Linda. “I have yet to be consistent with other forms of exercise, but was pleased with the section of the program where we covered how little effort it takes to receive benefit from physical activity.”

Linda’s determination is paying off. Her blood sugar numbers have improved and she has lost a total of 18 pounds by following the advice of the program. She excitedly shared that her doctor was very pleased at her declining A1c at a recent appointment.

Linda is also looking forward to joining the DSME support groups upon her return to Sun City West in the fall.

My advice to others would be to “celebrate the small changes, take it slow and keep at it.”

For information about any of our diabetes, pre-diabetes and chronic disease services and programs, please call the Center for Health & Wellbeing at (623)-471-9355 or visit

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